Seven Ways to Improve What You Upload to Instagram

unnamed

Instagram’s become a staple in the average smartphone user’s app drawer. Where it once started off as a tool to enhance and showcase your phone photography, however, it has now arguably taken over as a complete social network altogether. With the introduction of direct messaging, the ability to tag other people, and the all around influx of people simply posting up pictures of what they’re doing at the moment, it’s become clear that the app isn’t just used as an artistic tool anymore. It’s become a form of communication.

But that’s not a bad thing at all. With how much potential the app now holds, Instagram can truly bring something to your following as a photographer. What matters is both how you market yourself and the content that you make. This post won’t necessarily help you with the former, but it can definitely give a few tips on the latter. When Instagram was first released, smartphones were still a new thing; not everyone was able to own one, and taking pictures with a phone’s camera was still more of a novelty thing; with how many different toy-cam styled filters the app offered, it got the job done when it came down to giving a bit of vintage spice to your pictures.

Even Instagram, however, knows that things have changed; in the past few months alone, they released an update allowing an entire editing package and even a hyperlapse app. And it’s because smartphone photography is becoming more sophisticated. As the world’s population becomes virtually void of flip phones, more and more people are starting to use smartphone cameras as their primary lens. And with Instagram being possibly the most popular photo-based social app out there, I decided to throw my two cents out there for those of you who want to make the best of it. This doesn’t have to be about getting more followers, and it doesn’t even have to be about having a professional photography presence on the app. If you just like posting pictures on the app and want a few good tips on how to make them a bit more perfect, then maybe I can give you a few tips here.

[Read more...]

Photoshop vs. Lightroom: What if You Had to Pick Just One?

PS-LR-PICK-ONE-diyphotography-001

One of the questions I get a lot comes from new photographers wanting to know whether they should be working in Photoshop or Lightroom. I particularly enjoy their deer-caught-in-the-headlights look when I reply, “Both!” While it’s true that either of these incredibly powerful Adobe tools could, in theory, provide photographers with everything they need to edit their images, I really am a firm believer that a strong workflow rests on a solid foundation of both PS & LR. Having said that, though, learning just one of these applications can be a daunting task for even the most dedicated photographer. Learning two can seem insurmountable.

[Read more...]

New Algorithm Uses Text Commands to Change the Weather in Pictures

Do you ever notice how sophisticated and easily accessible futuristic technology can look at times when watching a movie? Just to throw an example out there, remember how subtly awesome it was when all Tony Stark needed to do to paint his armor was ask Jarvis to add some hot rod color? As advanced as technology is these days, Louis C.K. was right; we’re a bit spoiled when it comes down to how much we expect. Just the other night, I had a friend complaining that he was stuck on 4G because there wasn’t any LTE in the area.

The bottom line is that efficiency and speed both play a big role in how technology moves forward. As simple as it is to take your phone out and press a button to show the screen, we ended up finding a way to make pushing it unnecessary. As simple as it is to type in a password to buy an app, we replaced it with a fingerprint sensor. And as efficient as it is to Photoshop your pictures to change the weather, we’ve now found a way to let an algorithm do the job for us.

[Read more...]

This Tutorial Covers Everything You’ll Need to Know about Photoshop’s Clone Tool

The team at Phlearn put together a pretty detailed video tutorial over mastering the cloning tool, and they’re not wrong when they emphasize on how important it really is. I’ve been Photoshopping since I was in the 8th grade, and just from reading that you can probably already imagine the atrocities that came out of my, uh… “graphic design” skills back in the day. One thing I never really made myself learn was the cloning tool. It just looked too complex, and I thought using blur on pretty much everything was the way to go. At the time, I was basically under the impression that the Blur tool was all I needed because it does the same thing the Clone tool would do.

Please don’t make the mistakes I’ve done.

If you’re like me, and never really got the hang of a tool like that, do yourself a favor and check this video out. The seventeen minutes that comprise this tutorial aren’t wasted by any means at all; covering four different sections, Phlearn’s Aaron Nace gives us a broken down, professional, and intricate look into the software, and in the end it’s downright easy to follow along with.

[Via Phlearn]

Adobe Camera Raw 8.5 Brings In Support for Panasonic Lumix GH4, New Lens Profiles, and More

banner_adobe

It’s been about three months since its last update, and now the next release candidate for Adobe Camera Raw is here. If you’ve been waiting on support for the Panasonic LUMIX GH4, Camera Raw 8.5 now gives you the opportunity to do so. Along with it, a few more cameras from Olympus, Nikon, and Canon are added into the mix, receiving raw image support in the program; if you’re just getting into photography, editing the raw image files is one of the best things you can possibly do for your photos, so GH4 users out there should definitely give this update a look.

Unfortunately, like the last time, there’s no word on an update coming to Lightroom at all, so we’ll have to wait and see where that goes. Adobe Camera Raw 8.5 RC is now out for both Photoshop and Creative Cloud. Check out what else is featured – including new lens profiles, bug fixes, and software modifications – after the jump.

[Read more...]

Instagram’s 6.0 Update Finally Brings Real Editing Tools to the Social Networking App

insta

Instagram hasn’t really been much of a photography app, lately. When it started off, it was a great way for the average smartphone user to give their photos a vintage Polaroid look. But with how popular it’s gotten, especially after its acquisition by Facebook, Instagram’s been keeping more of a focus on social networking than it has on actual photo editing. Today, a new update just released for the app that might change all that.

The latest update, Instagram 6.0, brings improvements to what’s already there – straightening, cropping, rotating – and then it adds on more. This time, the social networking-focused app is coming with tools that have been essential for any photographer up to this point; with 6.0, we get options to adjust brightness, saturation, contrast, and more. No word yet on how those features compare in quality to their counterparts in apps like Snapseed, VSCO, or Afterlight, but considering it’s one of the fastest growing social networking apps out there, it’s great to see Instagram bringing tools like this to mainstream attention.

Check out the full list of specs after the break. You can update to Instagram 6.0 right now on Google Play or the App Store.

[Read more...]

Apple Makes Changes to Photography With iOS 8 Playing Catch With Android

30567c2e-d6e5-4b12-b6ac-3ae172fcb8c2_800

Apple products: love them or not, there’s no denying that they’ve made a tremendous impact on photography today. If you don’t own an iPhone, chances are you most likely own a Mac. If you own neither then you’re in more of a minority than you’d think. Considering how important the company’s become to the photography world in general, the news that came out of Apple’s WWDC keynote today is set to make another mark in how many of us deal with our work. As I’m writing this post, Craig Federighi of Apple is wrapping up the announcement of the new iOS 8. Both the mobile operating software, along with the new update to Mac OSX, were both just recently introduced at the keynote, and the changes they’re bringing to how we work with photos on our Apple devices are far overdue.

[Read more...]

Two Easy Tricks For Adding Light In Photoshop

adding-light-photoshop-diyphotography-000

If you’ve been reading my articles for a while, you already know two very important things about me and my approach to photography. The first– getting it right in the camera– is certainly not unique, but I truly believe that a unicorn loses its wings and the Earth briefly stops rotating on its axis every time the words, “I’ll fix it later in Photoshop” pass someone’s lips. The other has become a bit of a mantra in my photography classes– Photoshop is a tool, not a crutch. A bad photo is a bad photo– no amount of Photoshop is going to change that. But working a little bit of Photoshop magic can, in fact, bring that extra creative dimension to the work if used carefully. When I look at a photo, my first reaction should be, “Nice image.” It shouldn’t be, “Nice editing.” Having said that, however, I recently learned a couple of easy tricks for adding light to almost any scene in Photoshop.

[Read more...]

10 of The Most Common Photo Editing Mistakes

top 10 photo mistakes-diyphotography2

I just got an email confirming my press registration for this week’s Photoshop World Conference and Expo, and I’m actually fascinated by the notion of an annual convention built around a computer program. On the other hand, I suppose I shouldn’t really be all that surprised. While there are other editing options available, Photoshop and Lightroom have pretty much become the standard by which all others are judged. And let’s face it– to a certain extent we’re all a bunch of geeks. We obsess about our cameras, lights, and other gear, so why not that important final link in the chain– the software that puts the finishing touches on our vision? In fairness, all of this quasi-philosophical rambling comes on the heels of a busy weekend of shooting, combined with an extraordinarily short turnaround time on the editing. Three days of shooting ended at 8:00 last night and the images were delivered to the client at 6:00 this morning. If shown as a mathematical equation, my current state would be probably be something like:

(Creative Overload + Sleep Deprivation) ÷ Caffeine Intake = Stuff I Wonder About

[Read more...]

VSCO Releases its Fifth Film Pack

VSCO FILM 05

Slowly, but surely, the worlds of cinema and photography are abandoning film as a medium. In the consumer market, it’s arguable that film is already wiped from existence as a business; film is hard to find and higher in price as a result because of the small market that still demands it. In cinema, it’s endangered. A decent amount of directors still stick to it, but the production companies need to be ready for the budget cut the cost will take.

The problem is that there’s still an interest in film photography, but it simply takes too much effort to pursue for the general consumer. At the end of the day, however, it’s the vintage feel film gives that most people would like to emulate. VSCO‘s been offering solutions for that for a while now. They’ve been selling plug-ins for Adobe Lightroom, Adobe CR, Photoshop CC, and Aperture; each plug-in comprises a variety of filters that literally emulate different types of film. As weird as that sounds, it works. VSCO’s great at what it does, and they just released the newest addition to their film packs yesterday. [Read more...]